Sleep no more.
Brian Buccellatto takes the reins from Tom Taylor in this issue, and the results are mixed.
His opening has some great characterization (for this title) and awesome artwork but slowly and slowly they fade away until all that’s left is an incoherent mess.
Mike S. Miller and J. Nanjan combine to produce some great visual displays and it’s with a groan that I find it slipping away as a new team takes over.
At first, I was wondering whose dream this was – Diana or Superman? But Diana’s words put this to rest. I really loved the sunset scenery and the glow in Superman’s eyes.
This really felt like a great moment showcasing both Clark and Diana, until you realize what the actual scenario is. As Diana leans in to kiss Clark, she wakes up.
Apparently, Ares (Greek God of War and one of the major antagonists of the Amazons) entered a pact with Hippolypta, restoring Diana from sleep but at a cost still unknown.
Meanwhile, Batman tries one final time to turn the other Leaguers from Superman’s tyrannical rule (though I wonder how you were expecting Flash to respond, Bats?) – only to be met with coarse language from his imprisoned son Damian.
Diana returns to the Hall of Justice and finds much has changed – including Superman now being a member of the Sinestro Corps and comatose. This riles her into attacking Sinestro.
Hal tries to intervene, but Ares stops him. Even as a helpless Billy looks on, Diana and Sinestro go for each others throats – until Superman stops an enraged Diana.
Apparently, Ares ‘magically’ brought him back the same way Diana was. But what about the stuff with ‘Hera’ and ‘costs’? I seriously hate when they abruptly change the status quo so quickly.
With Superman out, we could have an even battle with Diana and Sinestro leading the charge. Now, after just one issue with him out, we have overwhelming power quota in favor of the Superman Army.
The pacing goes haywire after this. In the course of five pages, we see Superman waking and giving up the Sinestro Corps ring on Diana’s request, then Spectre coming to tell them he found the Resistance’s hideout and finally – Superman’s team invading the Tower of Fate.
Not only does this smack of uneven pacing and contrived circumstances – it feels too rushed. Superman’s coma shouldn’t have been ended so easily, not should the Tower of Fate be breached by Superman of all people. Atleast it should have been Diana……
Coming back to the artwork, this is what happens. Awesome artwork, okay artwork……
And suddenly the artwork goes bad. I mean, really bad. There are two awful looking group shots and everyone looks wildly disproportionate.
I don’t know whether Sergio Davala, the artist of this chapter, was on this – but it’s disappointing to see the fall in artwork quality within a few pages. But this is a bulk of good segments including Wonder Woman vs Sinestro and the Tower infiltration while flop due to the art quality.
Still having a hard time believing why Diana is doing what she is right now. This has been an area of problem for Tom’s run and now Buccellatto has inherited it.
While Damian and Hal have been convincing in their ‘turning’, we’ve yet to see the others done with any reasonable success – with Diana in the spotlight the most. Is it because of unshakable belief? Unrequited Love? Amazon teaching?
Unless I get a proper answer, this will remain a sore point.
More, why was Superman the ‘one’ to break into the Tower of Fate? He’s magically impaired and the Spectre has enough power to break through the Tower’s defenses once he found it.
I really can’t find a reason Superman needs to be awake. This had the potential to show that even without Superman, Diana, the Spectre and Sinestro are formidable foes – but they didn’t go that route and it’s feels like an opportunity lost.
A new beginning showing glimpses of promise but overall, proving to be a serious disappointment and bump in this series’ run. I believe Buccellatto can make up for it as he gets more habituated to the series and its characters, but for now – I remain suspicious.
The artwork problems don’t help. Millar starts beautifully, but his successors are less so until they turn full-on bad.
So, I give it 5.5 out of 10.
+The opening pages are a visual treat
+A Wonder Woman villain proves enjoyable
-Still not convinced of Diana’s stance